Library technology on display at Annual Conference.

American Library Association • July 22, 2016

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Hot venue, high tech in Orlando

Products related to makerspaces, like these from TeacherGeek, had a strong presence this year

Marshall Breeding writes: “The exhibit hall of the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando offered attendees a chance to see the latest in an incredible range of technology products and services. Technology pervades almost all aspects of libraries—both in their behind-the-scenes work and in the services they provide. The annual conference assembles the largest exhibition of library vendors globally, providing a unique opportunity to investigate the full range of technologies oriented to libraries.”...

American Libraries feature, July/Aug.

Newsmaker: Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson

Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson is one of the most significant social commentators, provoking wide and engaged discussion on controversial issues such as religion, gender studies, and racial profiling. Before his Opening General Session address at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, he spoke to American Libraries about the role of libraries in his life and how librarians can engage young people of color....

American Libraries feature, July/Aug.

West Virginia libraries pick up the pieces

Water-soaked books await pickup outside the flooded Rainelle (W.Va.) Public Library

Scott Shoger writes: “Loretta Jones has been leading recovery efforts at the Rainelle (W.Va.) Public Library since it took on five-and-a-half feet of river water in flooding on June 23–24. The president of the library’s five-person board of directors, Jones has been on the scene since the waters receded, recruiting a youth group to clear out soggy books on June 27, calling in other volunteers to remove furniture the following day, and signing up a contractor to tear out walls and insulation on June 29.”...

AL: The Scoop, July 22

From the President: The expert in the library

From the President, Julie B. Todaro

ALA President Julie B. Todaro writes: “An entire year of service as a professional association president may seem daunting to some. And at ALA, it is actually a three-year commitment that is devoted to learning and speaking about a myriad of professional issues to honorably serve the membership and implement presidential initiatives. Within such a short timeframe, I believe presidential initiatives are best chosen as projects that will build and strengthen existing ALA messages, ideas, and successes.”...

American Libraries column, July/Aug.

ConnectHome marks one-year anniversary

Marijke Visser, associate director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, looks on as students build Kano computer kits at the ConnectHome anniversary event

Larra Clark writes: “The US Department of Housing and Urban Development marked the first anniversary of its ConnectHome pilot program—which connects public housing residents with low-cost broadband, devices, digital literacy training, and technical assistance—with a large-scale expansion that HUD Secretary Julián Castro called ConnectHome Nation. Public housing residents living in Comcast’s service area are now eligible to apply for Internet Essentials, the company’s high-speed internet adoption program for low-income families.”...

AL: The Scoop, July 21; US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, July 15

EFF files lawsuit to overturn Section 1201 of DMCA

Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice on July 21 that American copyright experts and technologists have been hotly anticipating for nearly 20 years. The suit focuses on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, the “anti-circumvention” rule that makes it illegal to break an “access control” for copyrighted works. The Library of Congress and the Copyright Office are also named in the suit, which alleges they have failed to perform their oversight duties in the three-year DMCA 1201 exemption hearings....

The Guardian (UK), July 21; Electronic Frontier Foundation, July 21
Libraries Transform

Virginia senator wants explicit books labeled

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase

In the battle over which books get recommended by Chesterfield County (Va.) Public Schools for summer reading, state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-11th, right) is endorsing warning labels that notify parents of a book’s content before it is assigned in school. Her concern echoes recent legislation vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe that would have required that parents be notified ahead of time of sexually explicit instruction material used in the classroom. In response, the Virginia Library Asociation issued a statement on reading lists and labeling titles....

Chesterfield (Va.) Observer, July 20; Virginia Library Association

Cold War relics (some edible) on exhibit in Montana

UM Government Documents Librarian Susanne Caro describes how the biscuits tasted

The University of Montana’s Mansfield Library is showcasing relics of the Cold War era, which recently got an unexpected—and edible—addition. In an out-of-the-way closet on the top floor of UM’s Aber Hall, hundreds of boxes have been lying dormant for half a century. Due to renovations to the building, this veritable time capsule is being opened, revealing potentially thousands of Cold War biscuits and candies—and the timing couldn’t be better for “Duck and Cover! Fact and Fiction of the Nuclear Age.”...

KPAX-TV, Missoula, Mont., July 19
Latest Library Links

Baby Wednesdays in Skokie

Baby Wednesdays offer an inclusive way to reach and assist young families

Mary Michell and Gudrun Priemer write: “Over the past few years at Skokie (Ill.) Public Library, we’ve revamped our programming for the under-2 set. We think we’ve come up with a great way to serve young families. We call it Baby Wednesdays, and here’s how it works. From 9:30 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday, we turn our large multipurpose meeting room into a playroom for children under 2. We provide toys, board books, and coffee for caregivers, and we have classical music playing in the background.”...

Prorgamming Librarian, July 18

Ontario senior wins right to display newsletter

Mary Stanko and her newsletter, Senior's Alert

An Ontario woman whose community newsletter was banned from her local library has won the right to distribute it on the institution’s pamphlet stands, after a year-long battle that nearly ended up in court. In 2015, Mary Stanko, a retired teacher, was told by the St. Catharines Public Library her Senior’s Alert newsletter did not meet its requirement that any publicly posted material be educational or cultural. Yet she had been allowed to leave the four-page publication there for nearly two decades....

National Post (Toronto), July 21

The way we publish now

Top LIS journals, according to Google Scholar

Barbara Fister writes: “Given that the future of scholarship is open and that academic librarians have a stake in that future, I was completely thrown when Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe reported on Twitter that she was advising a junior colleague on publishing options and was told she had to avoid open access journals. The tenure and promotion committee wouldn’t count them. Who on earth is in charge here? All of this made me curious about how open our so-called ‘top journals’ are.”...

Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, July 21

Why libraries are everywhere in the Czech Republic

Strahov Monastery Library, Prague

Hana de Goeij writes: “There are libraries everywhere you look in the Czech Republic—it has the densest library network in the world, according to a survey conducted for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There are more libraries than grammar schools. In fact, there is one library for every 1,971 Czech citizens, the survey found: four times as many, relative to population, as the average European country, and 10 times as many as the United States, which has one for every 19,583 people. Why?”...

New York Times, July 21; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mar. 2013

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